98 people have died on Irish roads so far this year

The RSA is warning that more than 80 more people could be killed in road accidents before the end of the year

irish, roads, rsa, road, safety, authority

Chairperson of the RSA Liz O'Donnell with Chief Superintendent Aidan Reid and Chief Executive of the RSA Moyagh Murdock. Image: RollingNews.ie

98 people have died on Irish roads so far this year, with an 8% increase compared to the figures for the same period last year.

A mid-year review of road safety has been published today by gardaí and the Road Safety Authority, with a warning that as many as 80 more people could be killed in road accidents before the end of the year.

The provisional review says there were 89 collisions and 93 deaths between January 1st and July 21st.

That number is said to have increased to 98 deaths as of today.

Of the 93 deaths accounted for in the review, 43 were drivers, 18 passengers, 16 pedestrians, 11 motorcyclists and five cyclists.

Compared to the first half of 2015, driver deaths increased by 10% while passenger deaths increased by 29%.

The figures show Co Cork has had the highest number of road deaths this year with 17.

That's almost double the figure from the two next highest counties, Tipperary and Limerick, which have had 9 deaths each.

Maggie Martin from the RSA says the weekend is clearly the most dangerous time on the roads.

"If we were telling people to focus on their behaviour, you need to be particularly careful when you are out [in the] early hours of the morning at the weekends," she said. 

Liz O’Donnell, Chairperson of the RSA, said: “Unfortunately, our review shows that road fatalities have increased this year. The increases are particularly evident among drivers, passengers and older road-users.

"If the current trend continues, we stand to lose almost 80 people in preventable and unnecessary road collisions. Complacency is our biggest challenge over the next six months. We need to get the basics right every single time we use the roads," she added.

Commenting on the figures, Garda Chief Superintendent Aidan Reid said: “Nearly one third of all drivers killed between 2008 and 2012 had alcohol in their system. This is a startling and unacceptable fact, and one which urgently needs addressing."

He added that there will be additional drink driving enforcement and 'educational activity' over the August bank holiday weekend.

People are being reminded to drive safely over the weekend, as bank holidays are said to be a "high-risk period for all road-users, especially drivers, as there are more people on the roads travelling longer distances".

The RSA is advising drivers to watch out for any symptoms of driver fatigue, and pull in for a coffee and 15-minute nap when necessary.